So you think you First, try www.airnav.com and
have a helipad? click on AIRPORTS and enter the
by Ben Guttery name of your heliport, town, or
Federal Aviation Administration city. You may need to go to the
advanced search feature. Another
It’s just outside. You’ve seen it. system is operated by FAA’s 5010
Even seen a helicopter on it. Yes, support consultant and is at www.
there is definitely a helipad here, gcr1.com/5010web. Again, enter
but is it legal? the city and state to return all the
The Federal Aviation photo by Alan Baker registered sites. This latter system
Administration (FAA) looks lists all of the official landing
after aviation safety, including send a letter indicating any issues site information. If you find your
licensing of pilots, mechanics and with the site. If the site is already in record has some errors, print the
aircraft, and controlling air traffic. use or about to open, we send the form, handwrite corrections, sign
However, FAA is also responsible owner an Airport Master Record it and send it to us. We will get the
for studying the establishment (FAA Form 5010) to complete. data updated.
of airports including hospital This is our official source of What if you aren’t on one
heliports. The terms airport, data on ownership and use of the of those lists? Don’t panic. Just
heliport, and helipad are used heliport. Most importantly, this is call our office to see if your
interchangeably as places to land the step that allows us to request helipad has ever been studied.
an aircraft. a location identifier for your Frequently, the first part of the
Federal Aviation Regulations, heliport. A location identifier is a process is completed, but the
specifically Part 157 (14 CFR code for the airport just like the actual registration filing has been
157), requires you to notify the ones on your luggage tags (AUS, forgotten. No registration equals no
FAA at least 90 days before any DFW, SAT, IAH, HOU). Having helipad.
construction, alteration, activation, a location identifier will assist the Using registered helipads has
deactivation, or change to the status helicopter operators in filing FAA been a focus area of FAA’s recent
or use of an airport or heliport. flight plans to your hospital. It efforts on helicopter EMS (HEMS)
The notice described above also puts the facility in our official activities. Our inspectors who work
must be done by completing FAA database that goes into onboard with the air ambulance operators
Form 7480-1, Notice of Landing navigation equipment to aid in have been reviewing the lists of
Area Proposal. You can find this navigation to your facility. This hospitals they regularly serve to
form on the internet by searching service is free. ensure they have been approved by
for “FAA Form 7480.” The form There are many hospitals out FAA. We’ve found a lot that have
is one page long with another page there that have not had FAA look never been studied. Many have
of instructions. Also required is a at their helipads, even though there been in existence so long everyone
specific USGS topographic map is a regulation that requires this. just thought they were registered.
marked with the heliports location. However, FAA’s interest is more Regardless of where you are,
During the notice process, FAA in safety than in enforcing this we can help you get it resolved.
conducts an aeronautical study regulation. For your protection, you If you have any questions, please
to look at the impact of nearby want to have a letter from the FAA contact Ben Guttery, senior
objects. We also send an inspector saying your heliport is safe and all program manager, Texas Airports
out to look at the site to ensure a the proper paperwork in place. Development Office, FAA, Fort
helicopter can safely arrive and There are a couple ways to Worth, Texas; phone 817-222-
depart from the landing site. Once confirm your helipad exists, 5614; fax 817-222-5989; email
the heliport is studied by FAA, we officially. Both are on the internet. email@example.com.
September/October 2007 Texas EMS Magazine 7